21/10/2012

Sculptures de bois Magar du Népal Galerie le Toit du Monde Paris

2204597345.jpg

Sculptures de bois Magar du Népal

Du 6 au 15 septembre 2012

Galerie Le Toit du Monde

http://www.letoitdumonde.net/

6, rue Visconti

75006 Paris

*********

PHOTO COURTESY OF

SANZA ARTS PREMIERS

BRUXELLES

http://sanza.skynetblogs.be/

************************

Effigies de ponts, piliers funéraires, piliers de maisons qui témoignent du travail du bois dans la région de Rukum et Rolpa (pays Magar) au Népal de l’Ouest. Ces photos en noir et blanc elles ont été prises à la fin des années 1970 et au début des années 1980 par 

Michael Oppitz,

ancien directeur du musée ethnographique de Zurich, ethnologue spécialiste des Magar, ethnie majoritaire dans cette région, et auteur d’un film remarquable sur le chamanisme des Magar, 

Shamans of the Blind Country

(1981)

 considéré comme un classique.

Des sculptures de ce type sont entrées dans des collections d’art primitif himalayen à partir du milieu des années 1980, sans que l’on ne dispose d’informations précises sur leur lieu d’origine. Ces photos témoignent donc d’une période antérieure au développement de leur collecte et offrent une illustration, très bien documentée par l’auteur, de ces objets dans leur contexte d’origine, utile aux amateurs d’art intéressés par ces productions plastiques.

Ces photos, originales, n’ont pas été publiées (à l’exception de quelques unes dans des revues peu accessibles aujourd’hui) et apportent une connaissance nouvelle sur les sculptures de bois du Népal.

Si certains ouvrages d’art mentionnent en effet la sculpture de bois de l’extrême ouest du Népal, aucun témoignage n’existe à ce jour sur cette région située plus à l’est et peuplée majoritairement de Magar. Ainsi, certains motifs érotiques ou obscènes semblent distinguer la création des Magar de cette région.

François Pannier

 

1255351934.jpg

1211871172.jpg

magar (6).JPG

magar (7).JPG

magar (8).JPG

magar (9).JPG

magar (10).JPG

magar (11).JPG

magar (12).JPG

 

magar (13).JPG

magar (14).JPG

magar (16).JPG

magar (17).JPG

magar (18).JPG

magar (19).JPG

IMG_8899.JPG

IMG_8901.JPG

magar (22).JPG

magar (23).JPG

magar (25).JPG

magar (26).JPG

magar (27).JPG

magar (29).JPG

magar (30).JPG

magar (31).jpg

magar (32).JPG

 

Photo courtesy

of

Sanza Arts Premiers

Bruxelles

http://sanza.skynetblogs.be/

Galerie le Toit Du Monde

Paris

Francois Pannier

http://www.letoitdumonde.net/

*********************

16/10/2012

Maschere del Carnevale Sardo Carnival Masks of Sardinia

Carnival Masks of Sardinia

Maschere del Carnevale Sardo

Masques de Carnaval de la Sardaigne

*

These carnivals

still reflect

the echo

and represents the archetipycs symbols of the ancient

pagan rites.

Follow a short description of some of these, body and facial masks, the connection with the iconography of some of the so called 'primitive masks' of the Himalayas it's edident, especially if compared with the 'Merdule's black grotesque masks.

****

AUSTIS

CARNIVAL MURAVERA

2007

Photo

Sergio Bertolini

*********************

Merdule

2215029208_cff171d00a_o[1].jpg

The Merdules

 wear a facial anthropomorphic, grotesque mask.

2214324599_6cbb46a1ff_o[1].jpg

Muravera Carnival 2007

Sardinia Italy

2206447878_88d235fb4d_o[1].jpg

****************************************

SOS BOES AND MERDULES

2214341951_a65a85f1ba_o[1].jpg

The action of the two masks is carried out in a complementary way, in fact, while, the ox tries to leap, in a wild and impetuous way, of those who met, attempting to overwhelm, the Merdule strives to hold it with the rope that keeps it bound.

***************

SOS MAMUTHONES

Mamoiada Carnival

2216551954_aec3d074cc_o[1].jpg

The Mamuthones

move in two parallel rows, flanked by the

Issohadores

very slowly, bent under the weight of the bells, and at equal intervals giving everyone a shot of shoulder to shake and to play the entire stuff.

 

*********************

COLONGANO

Austis Carnival

2214326236_3ae552f76c_o[1].jpg

Unlike other forms of the masks of the Barbagia area, the body masks of Austis have on the shoulder bones of animals that in the cadenced rhythm of the dance produce a dull sound less strong than the one of the bells.

The head part of the masks have fox or marten skins.

This character is also armed with sticks and pitchforks, shaked continuosly.

**********************

URTZU

Austis Carnival

2213544749_f8eef3fb3a_o[1].jpg

Sacrifical victim:

S'URTZU

it's the mask

with the boar's head.

********************

SOS THURPOS

Orotelli Carnival

2209423625_9b3874b743_o[1].jpg

Sos Thurpos de Oroteddi

carnival mask representing

'the blind'

the two people blacken each other's face

with the soot of burnt cork.

Their faces are hidden behind the hood

of the

gabbanu

heavy coat of woolen worn by shepards in the cold seasons and 'lent' for the carnival scene dominated by the black of the faces and of the clothings.

Above the gabbanu they carry over their shoulders a belt of bells, under they wear a velvet dress.

***********************************

SU BUNDU

Orani Carnival

2207705726_7fa12f7985_o[1].jpg

Bundu is a creature half human and half beef,

the red color of the mask that covered his face in its origin was obtained  with ox blood, while their pitchfork,

'on trivuthu'

symbolized the rural origins.

**************************

S'URTZU

Samugheo Carnival

2217743845_0ba434aacd_o[1].jpg

This Mask has the head of a goat.

The masks of the Samugheo carnival are:

Su Mamutzones

 masks coveres of goat's skin, with big horns on high cork's hats, bells on the body, the faces darked by black soot.

They dance around

s'Urtzu,

a mask half goat half man while

Omadore

torments him until his sacrifice.

This carnival still reflects the echo and represents the archetipyc  symbols of the ancient pagan rites.

*************************

Ethnoflorence 

The Tribal Arts a cross Cultural Heritage

Project

2012

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/10/2012

Larger than Life: The Terracotta Sculptures of India Ron du Bois

LARGER THAN LIFE:

THE

TERRACOTTA SCULPTURES 

OF

INDIA

*

TEXT AND PICTURES

courtesy 

of

RON DU BOIS

**********

 

Katervil_in_front_of_Yallee.jpg

Massive terracotta horses

have been built

by

Tamil villagers in south India for thousands of years. 

Stephen Inglis

states

that

"technically they are

the most ambitious

achievements in clay found in India 

and by any survey probably

the

largest hollow clay images to be created anywhere"

(1).

 

ancient_horse.jpg

-Massive terracotta Horse. Environs of Puthur, Tamilnadu, South India. 

This fifty year old massive clay image was fired on site.

Because the fired surfaces are porous a solution of oxides used as colorants are easily absorbed and thus made durable. 

Fifty years have altered them only slightly.

Although the annual rains soak the porous clay, no harm 

results because Tamilnadu never freezes.

In other climates water penetrating the clay could freeze and expand causing disintegration within a season.-.

 

ancient_horse3.jpg

-Created from sacred temple ground, this horse now stands purified by fire. No cracking or breakage due to trapped air or moisture occurred. 

The non-ceramic decoration of calcium carbonate and water penetrates the porous clay and thus becomes durable. 

 

Rain and subsequent freezing weather could spell the the disintegration of such massive clay images within a season, but the temperature in Tamilnadu is always warm, and thus the images stand for generations.

*

The methods

used

to construct and to fire images nine to fifteen feet or more in height

are

unique

in ceramic history 

and of unusual interest to clay specialists. 

They differ dramatically from the images of horses and soldiers  excavated in China, in that they are larger than life-size and fired in situ. 

Not only is the

size impressive,

but the proportions and embellishment are

superb. 

These works are created by a caste of

hereditary potter/priests

who are products and heirs

of

an ancient tradition 

in which

clay and religion

are inseparably linked.

 

1955_Aiyanar_Horse_image.jpg

 

-This massive terracotta Aiyanar horse image was built around 1955. 

It is distinctive for its high relief modeling.

Much the original white wash is still extant.

The high relief elements are technically possible because copious amounts of temper (rice straw) are mixed in the clay.-

 

spirit_rider1.jpg

 

spirit_rider2.jpg

 

Aiyanar_Shrine_figure.jpg

-Detail of relief modelling, 18 inches high, one neck of ancient Aiyanar terracotta horse.

Environs of Puthur, near Chidambarum, Tamilnadu, India-

*

Yet because

the images are built

in

remote village shrines

they have been virtually

ignored

by

scholars. 

As

Inglis

observes

"visitors to Tamil Nadu may catch a glimpse of such images from the window of a bus or train yet an interest once aroused is difficult to pursue".

 

 Katervil_in_front_of_Yallee.jpg

 Tamil people of the cities

know little of them

and for the ordinary village people, work on such images involves skills and a sacred ritual of which they have little knowledge.

The work is almost never seen in big towns or cities, sold in fairs, or otherwise displayed.

Although some attention has been given by scholars to the religious complex in which they playa part, information about massive images and the craftsmen who build them is not to be found in the literature on south India"

(2).

In May, 1980, as an Indo-American Fellow, I was able to observe at first hand, in remote and abandoned village shrines, ancient examples of these massive terracotta horses "with fiercely noble heads standing ready to carry god or demon"

(3).

 

As I looked at them, numerous questions came to mind:

How old were they?

Who made them?

What was their purpose?

Were they still being made?

How could such huge clay images be fired?

How could passages of clay varying in thickness from two to sixteen inches be dried and fired without mishap of any kind?

The answers

to these questions would

shed

new light on the methods used in the past

by

the Etruscans,

the Chinese,

and pre-Columbian peoples to create such larger-than-life terracotta images.

The craftsmen who made them clearly used methods of construction and firing outside the spectrum of Western ceramic skills and processes.

Few, if any clay specialists in the Western world would attempt to build and fire on-site ceramic sculpture of such monumental scale.

Through the unfailing support of Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith of the Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry, I found some important answers.

Former students of Susan Peterson, they are the only American potters successfully producing hand-thrown stoneware in India at present.

 

Their plan of organization made the documentation possible.

Intrigued with the projected filming of the construction of an

Aiyanar horse,

they offered me the use of their recently purchased jeep to search for Aiyanar shrines and potters.

The three of us, together with Ray's assistant, Ratchagar, to serve as translator, set out on a four-wheel drive field trip.

On a single day's outing, we sighted five Aiyanar shrines in the outskirts of Chidambaram.

Each of the sites held one or more terracotta horses, each ten to twelve feet high constructed within the last one hundred years. The surface decoration, in most cases, had weathered away and the patina indicated considerable age.

There was nothing to indicate the date or the names of either the potters or donors.

Such facts were never recorded.

 

Ancient_Terra_Cotta_Horse_villager.jpg

This ancient terra cotta horse was built and fired on site some one hundred years ago.

It measures over ten feet in height. 

The high relief images on the neck of the horse image were modeled of clay with an admixture of straw. 

The images symbolize spirit attendants who ride with Aiyanar at night to guard the village boundary.

 

clay_horse_detail.jpg

-Detail of ancient horse (with villager standing in front): The high relief images on the neck of the horse were modeled with the solid clay mixture.

They symbolize

spirit

attendants

who ride with

Aiyanar 

at night to guard the village boundary.

Four_massive_Aiyanar_horses.jpg

 

About 100 years old, four massive terra cotta horses constructed and fired on site stand in a seemingly

abandoned 

Aiyanar shrine.

Were such horses still being built?

Thanks to my friends' fluency in Tamil we soon found a pottery community reputed to have horse- building skills in the village of Puthur, sixteen kilometers from Chidambaram.

When we found the earth and thatch dwelling of the potters, we discovered an Aiyanar shrine nearby complete with a huge standing terracotta horse which the potters claimed was more than one hundred years old.

Near the older form was a more recent horse built of cement, a material that has now almost completely replaced clay as the medium for shaping ritual images.

 To the west stood a large

cement image of Aiyanar

and to the south, a shrine housed a much smaller image flanked by two consorts.

The shrine is in active use. 

Each evening some forty villagers worship there, the women touching their foreheads to the ground and the men prostrating themselves completely.

The indigenous religious system, involving the belief in a male deity, at once hero, protector, companion, and councilor, is Dravidian.

It predates by centuries the Aryan introduction of Hinduism with its complex pantheon of deities in the second millennium B.C. During the Middle Ages, in order to upgrade and legitimize Aiyanar through association with mainline Hinduism, devotees evolved the story of his birth as a son of Shiva and Vishnu (in the form of a beautiful woman). 

Aiyanar helps on many important occasions in life -to choose a bride or groom, to cure sickness, or to punish a wrongdoer. 

He holds a metal sword in his hand on which devotees thrust paper messages stating their various problems. 

Often the solutions are revealed in dreams.

 

village_potter.jpg

- S. Kalia Perumal was an important member of the four man crew who constructed the horse.

 

village_potter2.jpg

-This potter's wife standing before the shrine is in a state of trance.

The closer presence

of

Aiyanar

and the forces of village deities stimulate states of possession. 

For some their bodies temporarily become containers of the divine.-

*

We learned that the last Aiyanar horse was commissioned more than twenty years ago.

But the potters assured us they still knew how to build one. Would they do it?

Would they accept a commission from a non-Hindu - a foreigner? 

I was impressed with the potters and had a genuine sympathy and liking for Aiyanar and his shrines.

Unlike Hindu temples, his shrines were always located in secluded country areas in which trees were a necessary and auspicious component. 

They were restrained-the sculptural quality of the clay or cement images was stable and impressive. 

Perhaps the potters were moved by my positive attitude and interest in Aiyanar; at any rate, they decided to accept the commission.

They agreed to build a horse nine feet high in twenty days; it was to be situated next to the existing horses. 

They quoted a price of 500 rupees.

After haggling, they reduced the figure to 400 rupees- ($48.00) - a good price by Indian standards but by Western standards extremely low when one considers that four or five men would work for twenty days to complete the commission.

*

Day One

***********

They knew their business.

On Monday, May 26, 1980, a puja (ritual) was held to ensure the success of the project.

 

To consecrate the ground on which the horse was to be built, the potters encircled the area using the blood streaming from the neck of a decapitated rooster. 

Coconut halves were placed to each side of the area. 

Liquor, an essential ritualistic ingredient, was present although Tamil Nadu is a "dry" state. 

Technically, liquor is illegal but this was "home brew," which escaped official scrutiny. 

Food offerings to Aiyanar completed the ritual.

Secure in the assurance that Aiyanar was now companion to the project, the potters began construction.

The preparation of the clay had taken place the day before. 

A circular earth pit about four feet in diameter served as a mixing trough. 

One part sedimentary earthenware is mixed with one part earthenware topsoil. 

Although fine-grained, it contains silt. 

To this enough water is added to produce a medium-viscosity slurry. 

The potters knew this clay would fail as a medium for building large sculpture. 

Large quantities of non-plastic ingredients are essential to prevent shrinkage and hence cracking, as well as to permit thick passages of clay.

The non-plastic ingredients consist of three parts rice hulls and approximately one part (by volume) of three-to-four-inch lengths of rice straw. 

The potters added this to the earthenware slurry and mixed it by foot to produce a medium soft mixture possessing all the qualities of a "castable."

aiyanar1day.jpg

 

-First Day construction

Aiyanar Shrine, Puthur, Tamilnadu, South India, 1980.

 Holes 12" deep and 12" wide were excavated in the ground possible to relieve air pressure during firing. 

  Katervil applies a heavy  coil of clay with an admixture of rice straw to form the "hooves", the first stage in the construction of  a massive terracotta horse.

These constitute the first procedures in the construction of a massive Aiyanar horse image.

When completed it will stand ten feet high.

In the background stands an ancient terracotta horse said to be 100 years old.-

*

Large coils of this material were used to form rings around previously inscribed twelve-inch circles on the ground marking the four "hoofs" of the horse. 

 A second coil of clay joined to the initial ring extended the diameter to sixteen inches. 

 Four of these clay rings were formed to establish the four "hoofs" of the horse's legs.

This accomplished, a potter, using a metal excavating tool, dug holes approximately twelve inches deep inside each ring of clay.

A potter set a wooden pole about six feet high inside one hole and held it while a colleague quickly filled the entire hole with clay thus supporting the pole in a vertical position. 

In a similar fashion, vertical poles were set in the three remaining holes. 

Each wooden pole, therefore, was supported by a solid mass of clay mixture about sixteen inches across and twelve inches 

deep. 

Without the use of rice hulls and straw such passages would shrink and crack.

These ingredients are the major part of the mixture by volume and are essential to this type of monumental clay construction.

The last part to be constructed was a clay base for the central rectangular support, 24'' x 24''.

 This completed the first day's work. Nothing further could be done until the moist clay mixture stiffened.

 The potters spent their time in the afternoon preparing ropes made of rice straw.

Wrapped around the wooden uprights these ropes create a compressible internal support system for the application of about a four-inch wall of clay thereby eliminating any possibility of the clay cracking as it dries and contracts.

aiyanar14.jpg

 -Woman Creating a Colam.

Colams

are ritual diagrams

or drawings that welcome the dawn, or gods to their festivals. 

        They illustrate the power of geometricity to create a force field or maze by which untoward forces are confused and  thus kept at bay. 

Mostly women create the geometric designs with rice flour. 

Colams celebrate the impermanence of art and art as an essential aspect of daily devotion. 

Their beauty of form and endless variety are at once decoration and ritual.-

*

Day Two:

********* 

On the morning of the second day of construction the potters completed the task of winding the straw ropes around the four wooden uprights. 

They then applied a four-inch wall of clay so that four large tubes about 40 inches tall were formed, each serving as a  metaphorical leg.

Next, four vertical uprights were fixed at the inside comer of the base of the central rectangular support previously completed. Straw ropes were wound around them to create an armature for a thick application of clay. 

The potters worked surely and quickly in spite of a 112 degree Fahrenheit temperature. 

Descendants of generations of clay craftsmen, they have learned the skills from childhood and are concerned only with the work at hand, In the afternoon they completed the front and rear legs and the central rectangular support. 

The front legs now stood as a single unit 44 inches high, 38 inches wide, and 17 inches across, measured at the top center. 

By fixing wooden supports to the wooden uprights, the potters created a horizontal passage of clay that bridged the two front and rear legs.

The clay mixture was laid over and under these supports to create a level horizontal surface.

This completed, nothing more could be done until the horizontal passages of clay tiffened.

 

aiyanar6.jpg

-The legs of the horse are constructed of four wooden poles, rice straw, and rope. 

Clay slurry is applied over all. The potters bridged the front and rear legs.-

 

Aiyanar_2nd_Day.jpg

 

-The two front legs are now stiffened, Katervil uses a wooden support covered with rice straw to form a compressible internal support. 

As the thick clay passages dry and shrink the internal straw support compresses to prevent cracking.-

*

Day Three

***********

On the morning of the third day, additional wood supports were placed horizontally to connect the front legs to the central support and then to the rear legs' unit. 

The potters molded the horse's under-belly by laying "gobs" of the clay directly on the wood supports (both above and underneath); this process produced a slab four inches thick, seven feet, ten inches long, and thirty-four inches wide! 

Such a feat was possible only because of the wooden internal support system.

aiyanar4day_Three_units.jpg

 

-Third Day of Construction. 

To bridge the pillars forming the legs and the cental support unit clay was applied over horizontal lenghts of wood wrapped with rice straw held in place with rope.

 

To prevent cracking rice straw is essential as an internal support because it compresses as the clay dries and shrinks. 

Four wooden poles wound with rope and rice straw formed an internal support on which clay was applied to form the central support unit.

The height of all three units is three feet, eight inches.-

*

After the burning rays of the sun had stiffened the slab, the potters next added coils of clay to form the curve of  the belly, a process which added seven inches to the height.

They tapered the edge of the final coil. 

When the clay was stiff, the diagonal slant provided a broader surface and hence a good join for the next application of  clay.

*

Day Four

**********

In the afternoon the potters, using thick gobs of the basic clay mixture, modeled the figure of the guardian (or groom) of Aiyanar's horse directly on the surface of the central support form.

 

aiyanar4day-b.jpg

 

aiyanar4day-c.jpg

 

aiyanar4day.jpg

   The modeling of the image of Aiyanar's groom starts with a massive gobs of the clay and will be finished with a levigated slip mixed with sand.

This older, mustached image symbolizes the neither aspects of the deity's nature. 

Katervil's deft fingers bring the image to life and vitality. 

Potter-priest and master clay craftsman of both utilitarian and sculptural forms, he models the groom of Aiyanar with thick gobs of clay on the central support of a massive Aiyanar horse image. 

He, poses beside the completed form which took two hours to complete.

 

aiyanar20.jpg

 

-An older, moustached image on the opposite side of the central support column symbolizes the neither aspects of Aiyanar's 

nature...dark and problematic. 

The smooth, ever youthful groom seen here symbolizes his divine nature.-

*

Day Six:

*********

lengths of bamboo are placed inside the figure to complement exterior supports.

 

aiyanar3day.jpg

Katervil laid wooden sticks horizontally to connect the front legs, central support column and rear legs.

 

He applied the clay mixture around these supports to form a horizontal slab, thirty-four inches wide by seven feet ten inches long.

 

aiyanar5day-b.jpg

 

Horizontal lenghts of bamboo (one visible on the top interior wall) are used to support the walls and to reduce accidental damage by children or cows.

Because the shrine is sacrosanct there is no intentional vandalism.

Some of the passages were four inches thick, attesting to the non-plastic nature of the basic clay mixture. 

An application of pure clay over the coarse basic clay followed, and detailing was done with fingers and a wooden modeling tool.

The modeling skills are of a high order and result in a figure with remarkable spring and incipient energy.

 

aiyanar5.jpg

 

 

aiyanar5day.jpg

 

aiyanar8bday.jpg

      Katervil  and two assistants are shown in process of hand modeling in high relief the bells associated with Hindu and home village deities.

In the modeling of the jewels, bells, and other decorative details, the intersection of the potter's skills and the common elements of Indian design are seen.

The decorative clay bands are identical to those applied to mounts on great temples by stone carvers, and to processional mounts and decorative architecture by wood workers...the skills of the garland and harness maker all flow behind the potter's skill.

aiyanar11.jpg

- Ron du Bois and 16mm film camera.

Aiyanar shrine, Puthur, Tamilnadu, South India 1980.

An attendant holds an umbrella over the camera to protect it from the blistering sun. 

At 114 degrees F., the camera could become burning hot and the canister of film inside ruined. 

A homemade evaporative cooler was devised to store and save the 16mm film canisters from damage. 

They were kept dry by placing them a lidded plastic container. This in turn was placed within a large terracotta vessel. 

Sand poured around the plastic storage container was then watered to cool the film by evaporation.

aiyanar10.jpg

 

-7th Day of Construction. Ron du Bois, Indo American Fellow, with massive terracotta horse in process of construction.

The final height of the massive sculpture was a nine feet, ten inches. An ancient terracotta horse built over 100 years ago is seen in the background.

Photo by Ray Meeker, 1980.-

 *

The basic clay mixture is similar to what, in the West, is considered to be a "castable" -a clay body suitable for bricks, refractory linings, or kiln construction but rarely considered as suitable for ceramic sculpture. 

Again, to the Western craftsman, a kiln for firing ceramic sculpture would appear essential.

As a result he limits himself to forms that can be lifted and moved into a kiln.

The idea of firing "in situ" at the site of construction rather than in a tudio/workshop has never been the practice.

Permanent kilns, plumbing and wiring for gas, oil, or electricity have all been part of the Western paradigm - yet the Etruscans, pre-Columbians, Africans, and the potter-priests of India as well all constructed temporary clay walls for on-site firing of monumental ceramic forms.

 

aiyanar8_closing_back_day.jpg

 

-Only a portion of the back form is closed. 

To form the tail a wire serves to support solid masses of the soft clay mixture.-

*

aiyanar8_closing_back_day2.jpg

 

 

aiyanar8day.jpg

 

A red slip or sigillatta is applied to seal and to smooth the course surface.

The lenght of the horse is thirteen hands, the height of both torso and legs is each four hands.

 The length of the still to be built neck will be four and one-half hands. 

These proportions passed from father to son may be adjusted only slightly depending on the judgment of the team leader.

 

aiyanar9.jpg

D-The face on the breast of the horse is YALEE...it's  fierce gaze guides the god on his nightly rides.

Developed over the ages this image is shared with the Hindu art of large towns and cities, but is now part of the village modeling tradition.

Able to see in all directions, able to see into the future. 

Because of this he guides the horse safely.-

 

 *

Day Nine:

*********

The entire neck, saddle and tail are complete.

 

aiyanar9day.jpg

 

aiyanar12.jpg

 

-To prevent sagging a wooden brace was used to support the mass of soft clay used to form the head.

It is now the 10th morning and the clay has stiffened overnight.

 The potters work to complete the final details - eyes, ears, bridle, mouth, teeth and tongue.-

*

Day Twelve

*************

Moist earth chopped from an adjacent drainage ditch was carried by baskets to the construction site to form the wall for an "open Field" firing. 

At a height of 18 inches it is left to stiffen before adding more earth. A 10 inch wall thickness is maintained until the final height of five feet is attained.

aiyanar13day.jpg

 

aiyanar16.jpg

 The image peeks out, almost completely covered by earth, clay vessels, wood, dung, and straw.

As the wall grows around the image, the image of the beast inside is felt.

The horse remains an almost mythical creature in South India ...imported in small numbers for the ancient kings, and now transformed from clay into the mount of a god.

 aiyanar4.jpg

  

aiyanar14day.jpg

A slurry made from ditch mud and water is carried in baskets and poured over the straw...five men take only twenty minutes to spread the thick slip over the entire surface and to overlap the clay wall.

The fire is started through a firehole igniting the layers of straw, dung and wood that surround and support the figure.

 

*

Day Fourteen

***************

The firing is completed within three hours.

 

aiyanar18.jpgaiyanar14day-b.jpg

The potters brought the project to a conclusion with a final puja (religious ceremony) and a "bringing to life" of the successfully fired and decorated horse.

It is hoped that these notes and photographs will benefit Western craftsman and serve to enhance internationally the most impressive but little-known skills of Indian potters.

 

***********************************

Footnotes:

1-2 Stephen R. Inglis, "Night Riders: Massive Temple Figures of Rural Tamil Nadu, in V. Vijayavenugopala (ed.) 

A Festschrift for Prof. M. Shanmugam Pillai, Madurai University Press, 1980.

3 Stella Kramrisch, Unknown India: Ritual Art in Tribe and Village. Philadelphia Museum of Art.

**********************************************

Ron du Bois,

an

Emeritus Professor of Art,

taught

ceramics and studio art 

Oklahoma State University

USA

****

He was 

Fulbright professor

to Korea

in 1973-74,

where he taught ceramics at three Korean universities. 

His award winning documentary, The Working Processes of the Korean Folk Potter, was filmed at that time. 

In 1979-80, du Bois traveled extensively in India as a 1979-80 Indo-American fellow to research and document the work of Indian potters.

Among other projects he filmed the entire construction of perhaps the last massive terracotta horse to be built in India.

The documentary,

"The Working Processes of the Potters of India: Massive terracotta Horse Construction"

was completed under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities and deals with the subject matter of this article.

In 1987, du Bois was awarded a 10 month Fulbright Senior Research Scholar grant, African Regional Research program,to research and document 

Nigerian potters.

For information on his

POTTERS OF THE WORLD FILM/VIDEO SERIES 

Contact:

Ron du Bois, Professor Emeritus, http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/dubois, 612 S. Kings St., Stillwater, OK 74074, 

(405) 377-2524, email: duboisr@sbcglobal.net, fax: 1-405-372-5023

**********

Also by Ron du Bois

A Saga of Synchronicity 

Making a Film Documentary

on

African Ceramics

 

48.jpg

http://www.ceramicstoday.com/articles/synchronicity_image...

 

TEXT AND PICTURES

Courtesy

of

RON DU BOIS

ALL

RIGHTS RESERVED

*************************

 

 

04/10/2012

ERIC CHAZOT LA DANSE DES MASQUES

LA DANSE DES MASQUES

*

Text Courtesy

of

ERIC CHAZOT

PHOTO

FRANCOIS GUENET

A

SPECIAL THANKS

TO 

RAJU SHRESTHA

KATHMANDU

 

6.JPG

AU NEPAL,

DEUX REPORTERS ON PU ASSISTER AUX RITUELS CELEBRANT LA NOUVELLE ANNEE DANS LE VILAGE DE TRADITION HINDOUISTE 

DE

RAYA 

BUT DE CES CEREMONIES:

SE PROTEGER DES SORCIERES ET DES DEMONS.

LES RITES DE RAYA TEMOIGNENT DE LA COMPLEXITE 

DU

SYNCRETISME RELIGIEUX 

DANS CETTE REGION.

1.JPG

A Raya

le masques sont  appelés

BANGPA

forme tibétaine

(bouddhiste)

employée dans ce village hindou de langue népalaise.

Si le nom népalais de

MOKUNDO

est également connu, le villageois ne l'utilisent pas.

Cela indiquerait-il une relation d'antériorité ou d'imitation avec les danses 

masquées bouddhistes du Nouvel An?

D'autant que l'un d'entre eux

le Vieil homme aux dents

(photo 1)

 a été acquis au Tibet

lors de danses masquées bouddhistes!

9.JPG

Si les menuisiers, habiles à manier l'herminette, sont les premier facteurs de 

masques, il n'est pas rare que des villageois sculptent eux memes ces BAGPA 

souvent pour des raisons économiques, pendant les longs mois passés seuls dans

les alpages à la belle saison.

Chacun s'attache à se singulariser et, le masque se pretant à la caricature, 

donne libre cours à son imagination en créant ces visages déstructurés et 

recomposés.

Les bois utilisés à Raya sont le rhododendron, le noyer et parfois le cèdre rouge.

*******

Il est midi.

Les terrasses du village de Raya, à l'extrème nord ouest du Népal, commecent à se remplir lentement.

En ce premier jour de l'année, le soleil se couchera dans deux heures seulement, masqué par les hauts sommets environnants de l'"Himalaya caché", comme on surnomme parfois cette règion aux traditions hindoues.

Soudain, des rires et des cris de joie s'élèvent.

Du haut du village, accroché à un versant désertique de l'impétueuse rivière Karnali, la plus longue du pays,

des peronnages masques font leur apparition.

2.JPG

Suivis de grappes d'enfants, ils cheminent vers l'esplanade centrale où ils vont exécuter successivement cinq danses d'exorcisme appelées

KEL ("jeu").

Elles célèbrent la fète lunaire de Bouwa Tihar,le Nuovel An, très peu connu, des populations Byanshi, soit 15.000 personnes réparties en 19 villages dont Raya.

Gràce à ces cérémonies, les habitants, aidés par les sept

DHAMI

du village, à la fois maitres religieux, devins et exorcistes, vont se protéger des sorcières et des démons.

 

4.JPG

Leur masque "BAGPA" maintenu à l'aide de turbans et d'ésharpes, cinq hommes s'avancent pour une première pantomime,

commémorant la défaite d'une sorcière qui exigeait autrefois la

vie des jeunes femmes et des enfants innocents.

Un Dhami, une jeune femme, son mari et un couple plus àgé entrent dans la danse.

Les jeunes époux, pour le plus grand plaisir des spectateurs, font semblant de copuler sous une couverture.

 

5.JPG

Plus tard, la femme mime l'accouchement en se cachant, pour protéger l'enfant des démons.

Hereusement, en ce jour particulier, le masque veille.

A la fois bouclier et écran, il repousse et désoriente les esprits malfaisants.

Puis, les personnages disparaisent dans les ruelles avant de se poursuivre.

La foule se bouscule et rit aux éclats, cette agitation étant alors censée commémorer un épisode marquant du Ramayana, l'une des épopées mythologiques hindoues, l'enlèvement de  Sita, femme du prince Rama, par le démon Ravana.

 

7.JPG

Soudain,

un simulacre de cheval nommé

ARINO

apparait.

Il est monté par un homme grimé en femme.

Un homme masqué tire la monture, un autre la pousse.

Une armée de démons invisibles les porsuit.

La cavalière, qui n'est que la déesse

PARVATI

parèdre de

SHIVA

connait l'art de les chasser et  de les détruire.

S'engage alors une

LUTTE MAGIQUE

dont Parvati et Arino sortiront vainqueurs.

D'autres combats mythologiques se succèdent, tels celui de

RAMA

et de son frère

LAXMAN 

accompagnés de personnages étonnants:

SULPA

 bouffon fumant le shilom;

MAKAL

(sans doute une déformation du sanskrit

MAHAKALA

- le Grand Noir-  dieu du Temps),

chassant les démons...

La fete de

BOUA TIHAR

commencé la veille par un brasier géant.

IMG_1471 - Copy.JPG

 

Les hommes ont amassé un immense tas de bois constitué de fagots, de branches et meme d'arbres entiers qu'ils on fait glisser le long des pentes abruptes depuis la foret au-dessus du village.

Les maisons ont été

REPEINTES

à l'argile blanche ou brune,

les habits levés et les bijoux sortis des coffres.

Avant d'allumer le feu, un dernier rituel se tient en fin d'après-midi: des prières (puja), des offrandes et des sacrifices sont adressés aux divinités.

Puis, à la nuit tombée, un Dhami accompagné par les notables se rend sur l'esplanade du village pour y récupérer des cendres enfouies l'année  précédente.

A l'aide d'un

DYO

- une lampe à huile de bronze-

il enflamme les branchages, en l'honneur du dieu

SHIVA.

Toute la nuit, le feu illumine le village pour mieux le protéger.

CAR CE PASSAGE D'UN ANNEE A UNE AUTRE EST CONSIDERE

COMME DANGEREUX

 le vieux tigre,

symbolisé par cette dernière nuit de l'année, est en train de mourir.

Mais il peut encore nuire et tuer.

De meme,

les sorcières et les démons

peuvent tenter une dernière attaque.

Les flammes devraient inciter le dieu à protéger ses fidèles.

Un oiseau et un coq sacrifiés ont été jetés dans le braisier.

Des hommes chantent et dansent, maniant boucliers et épées.

Apparait alors le vieux dhami Mandir Rokaya, maitre et chorégraphe des

cérémonies, arborant un collier de graines sacrées (rudraksha) sur la

poitrine et tenant une canne magique ornée de grelots.

Entre les danses, de jeunes hommes, pour montrer leur force, entament un

jeu difficile: ramasser avec les dents un clou posé par terre, accroupi en

équilibre sur un seul pied et sans poser les mains au sol!

Le rakshi (alcool de riz) coule à flots.

En paroles, tout est permis cette nuit-là.

Les pires obscénités se déversent, les hommes brocardent le femmes, sans souci

de tabous familiaux ni de castes.

Celles-ci osent des répliques égrillardes: "A cause de l'évolution de la société,

elle n'acceptent plus aussi facilment la domination masculine"

s'amuse le chef de  village, Prem Bahadour.

IMG_1471.JPG

Peu avant l'aube, les familles se dirigent vers la fontaine aux trois gargouilles,

à l'entrée du village, pour des ablutions de purification.

Les corps fument dans les brumes du Nouvel An.

Petits et grands se dispersent en un joyeux brouhaha.

Par petits groupes, ils vont frapper aux portes présenter leur

bons voeux et recevoir en échange des fleurs, des noix ou des

grains d'orge ou de riz.

Surtout, chacun prie ses voisins et ses proches 

d'excuser les propos déplacés de cette nuit exceptionelle.

Une forme d'exorcisme qui partecipe à l'éloignement des démons.

Chacun sait que, pour le Nouvel An, il faut rire à tout prix.

 

 ***

ERIC CHAZOT WRITINGS

 

***

 ROMANS

***

1976

Romandala, Presse Hyporéaliste. Katmandou

1995

Jhankri, Mandala Publication. Katmandou

***

ARTICLES ET CATALOGUES

*

1987

Himalayan Masks, Orientations, Hong Kong.

1988

 Facing the gods, catalogue : “SITES” (Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service)

1988

L’art primitif du Népal, Mc Millan dictionnary of art. Londres.

1989

 Annapurna, un sanctuaire menaçé, GEO Magazine.

1990

 Du primitif au classique, Ed Chabot. Paris

1993

Himalayan tribal Masks

Orientations

Hong Kong

1994

 Masques Sherdukpen et Monpa

Musée Barbier-Mueller

Genève.

1995

 Art tribal de l’Himalaya, revue Tribal Arts.

Paris / San-Francisco

1996

 Himalayan Masks, revue Tribal Arts.

Paris / San-Francisco.

1996

 Art et chamanisme dans l’Himalaya, revue Tribal Arts.

Paris / San-Francisco.

2000

 Visions de sagesse, art du Tibet et de l’Himalaya, musée Déchelette de Roanne.

2000

 Le Népal, Encyclopédie électronique Encarta

2002

 Als die götter noch jung waren, Museum im Ritterhaus. Offenburg, Allemagne.

2003

Voyage en Mongolie, musée du carnaval et du masque. Binche, Belgique

2003

Masques de l’Himalaya, revue Art tribal Cosignataire avec M. Revelard conservateur du musée de Binche. Belgique.

2006

 Sculptures primitives du Népal de l’ouest, revue Tribal Arts. Paris.

2006

 Les pèlerins de la pleine lune, Sciences et Avenir. France

2006

 Le jour où les chamanes sont rois, revue Animan. Suisse.

2006

 L’art érotique du Népal, Sciences et Avenir. France

2010

 La danse des masques, Sciences et Avenir. France

2010

 Langage du visage, in "Le visage dans tous ses états", Université Paris Descartes.

2011

 La Danse Sacrée, in "Le Corps en Mouvement", Université Paris Descartes

*

LIVRES D'ART

***

1991

 Masks of the Himalayas

Eric Chazot et Lisa Bradley

Pace Primitive

New York

1993

 Demons, gods and heros

Hong Kong Land property.

HK

1995

 Le visage des dieux

Musée St Antoine l’Abbaye

France

1995

 Art de la Chine et du Tibet

Musée Abbaye de St Riquier

France

2009

 Art & Shaman, n° 1.

Eric Chazot et L & M Durand-Dessert.

ed LMDD

Paris

2011

Art & Shaman, n° 2.

Eric Chazot et L & M Durand-Dessert.

ed LMDD

Paris

*

Poesie

***

1976

 Chants du Yab-Yum.

Presse Hyporéaliste

*

TRADUCTIONS

***

1981

 Contes et Légendes du Népal. Editions errance

Paris

********

***

*

03/10/2012

MUSEE DE LA CASTRE CANNES SANTAL SARANGI PIERRE FERNANDEZ ARMAN

MASTERPIECES 

OF 

INDIAN AND HIMALAYAN

FOLK AND TRIBAL ARTS

*****

Mus+®e de la Castre_Cannes_1991.21.1.jpg

 

1991.21.1_musée de la CAstre.jpg

 

Courtesy of

 Collection Musée de la Castre, Cannes © Photo Claude Germain

*

"...une vièle Sarangi, venant du Santal, nom en soi, évocateur. 

 

Sa présence et sa personnalité nous interpellent. 

 

Ce petit chef-d'oeuvre de sculpture  attire notre regard au fond du sien.  

 

C'est bien ici l'exemple d'un objet  d'artisanat, échappant  à son usage pour accéder à l'intemporel".

 

Pierre  Fernandez   Arman

on  

"Voyages Immobiles Trente ans d'Aquisitions d'Art Primitif

du

Musée de la Castre" 

Cannes

****

About the Tribal Arts of the Santal People

see more on

http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/archive/2012/04/03/sa...

************

**********

BENGT FOSSHAG

RABAB, SARANGI, SARINDA AND RELATED

INSTRUMENTS

 

3452467356.jpg

SEE MORE ON

 ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/archive/2012/09/27/bengt-fosshag-rabab-sarangi-sarinda-and-related-instruments.html

EXTRACT FROM

THE TRIBAL ARTS

A

CROSS CULTUAL HERITAGE

NUMBER

0

 http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/archive/2012/09/07/th...

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E

 
 

 

 

 

01/10/2012

TRIBAL ARTS A PLASTIC, INTERDISCIPLINARY POINT OF VIEW

TRIBAL ARTS

 

A

 

PLASTIC, INTERDISCIPLINARY 

 

POINT OF VIEW

*************

EXTRACT FROM

THE 

TRIBAL ARTS 

A

CROSS CULTURAL HERITAGE

 ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/archive/2012/09/07/the-tribal-arts-a-cross-cultural-heritage1.html

 

***********************

THE CHOICE OF THE COLLECTOR

 

 Pictures courtesy of

 

Christian Lequindre, Elio Revera, Robert Brundage, Vittorio Carini, Musée de la Castre Cannes

 

**************

 

 

 

CHRISTIAN LEQUINDRE 

 

 

 

90-1.jpg

 

(Picture courtesy of Christian Lequindre)

 

Ceremonial mask

 

Wood, fiber, iron staples, white pigment 

 

Eastern Nepal  H: 33cm

 

Published: "NEPAL Shamanism and Tribal Sculpture".

 

C.Lequindre / M.Petit. 2009.

 

***

 

**

 

*

 

VITTORIO CARINI

 

bete0110.jpg

 

(Photo Courtesy of Vittorio Carini)

 

Bete, Gre or Gle Mask

 

Ivory Coast, Issia Region

 

Wood, sacrificial encrustations, magic substances, horse hair, shells, fangs, metal studs, handbells, iron, coins, h 11in/cm 28

 

ex Antoine Ferrari de la Salle collection

 

ex Alain de Monbrison collection

 

Published

 

Bargna I, e Parodi da Passano G., "L'Africa delle meraviglia - Arti africane nelle collezioni italiane", Genova, Silvana Editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo (MI), pag. 83, color

 

 

 

Kpelle.jpg

 

(Photo Courtesy Vittorio Carini)

 

Kpelle mask

 

Liberia

 

Wood metal  feather

 

H cm 29 

 

ex

 

Robert Duperrier

 

***

 

**

 

*

 

 ROBERT BRUNDAGE

 

 BOB.jpg

 

(Photo Courtesy of Robert Brundage)

 

Himalayan mask

 

Published 

 

"Tribal Arts Winter 1995-96

 

The Himalayas: Hidden or Revealed Faces?"

 

Eric Chazot

 

****

 

**

 

*

 

MUSEE DE LA CASTRE CANNES

 

 

 

1991.4.1_musée de la Castre.jpg

 

TIMOR MASK

 

INVENTORY N 1991.41.1

 

Photo Musée de la Castre

 

Cannes

 

***

 

**

 

*

 

ELIO REVERA

  

image_preview.jpg

 

(Photo Courtesy of Elio Revera)

 

Baoulé people, Gbekrè, Monkey Figure

 

Mbotumbo

 

Ivory Coast

 

H 25,6 in/65 cm

 

Wood, iron, cloth, sacrifical encrustations and traces of ritual offerings

 

Ex Ernst Ascher, old Collection, Paris

 

Published:

 

Bargna I, e Parodi da Passano G., "L'Africa delle meraviglia - Arti africane nelle collezioni italiane", Genova, Silvana Editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo (MI)

**********************

***********

*****